Media » Media » Exports hit a new high and the deficit shrinks by 29% to September

Exports hit a new high and the deficit shrinks by 29% to September

  • Fecha de evento 22 noviembre 2016
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  • Publicación 22 noviembre 2016
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Spanish exports of goods grew by 1.2% in the first nine months of 2016 to 188.49 billion euros, the highest ever cumulative figure for this period. By volume the increase was greater, 3.2%, due to prices measured by Unit Value Indices (UVIs) falling by 2.0

As a result, the trade deficit from January to September stood at 13.23 billion euros, 29.0% less than the figure for the same period in 2015, and the second best cumulative trade balance posted for the first nine months of the year since 1997, only bettered by 2013.

The coverage rate stood at 93.4%, i.e. 2.5 percentage points higher than in the period January-September 2015 (90.9%, provisional figures), and the second highest coverage recorded for this period in the entire time series, only bettered by 2013. The non-energy balance showed a deficit of 1.18 billion euros (versus a surplus of 2.03 billion euros in January-September 2015), while the energy balance fell by 41.7% as a result of the substantial drop in energy prices.

If we compare these results with those of other countries, cumulative export growth in Spain (1.2%) is better than in the Eurozone (0.0%) and in the European Union as a whole (-0.9%). Of the main EU economies, exports from France (-1.5% year-on-year) and from the UK (-4.3%) both decreased, while exports from Germany (1.0%) and Italy (0.5%) grew, albeit to a lesser extent than in Spain in both cases. Outside the EU, exports from the USA (-5.0% year-on-year), China (-6.8%) and Japan (-9.2%) also fell.

Economic sectors

In the first nine months of 2016 exports in the main categories performed positively. Exports of capital goods (20.1% of the total) grew by 2.2% year-on-year, while sales of the automotive (18.0% of the total) and food, drink and tobacco (16.8% of the total) sectors were up by 8.5% and 6.2% year-on-year, respectively. Meanwhile, energy product sales fell (-4.4% year-on-year) on the back of low energy prices, while sales of chemical products (-0.4%), non-chemical semi-manufactures (-2.8%), raw materials (-6.7%) and other goods (-49.4%) all shrank.

Thus the greatest positive contributions to export growth came from the automotive sector (a contribution of 1.4 percentage points to total export growth), food, drink and tobacco (1.0 point), consumer manufactures (0.6 points) and capital goods (0.4 points). The main negative contributions came from the sectors of other goods (-1.7 points), non-chemical semi-manufactures (-0.3 points), energy products (-0.2 points), and raw materials (-0.2 points).

By subsectors, the main positive contributions came from automobiles and motorcycles (1.3 points, mainly due to higher sales to Germany, Italy, Belgium and the UK), road haulage equipment (0.6 points, to the UK, Italy and the Netherlands), clothing (0.4 points, to Italy, the USA, the UK and Ireland), and meat products (0.3 points, especially to China and, to a lesser extent, to Japan, Libya and Hong-Kong).


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